TODAY: Correa told MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart and other reporters that he “woke up today feeling really good….It gave me a lot of confidence moving forward.” An official decision on his ALDS status won’t be known until he works out with the team next week, but “the way I woke up today, if the playoff started tomorrow, I’d probably be in the lineup,” Correa said.
YESTERDAY: The Astros shut down shortstop Carlos Correa for the rest of the regular season because of a back issue on Thursday. The hope then was that Correa would return for the start of the playoffs next week. That could still happen, but it doesn’t sound like a certainty at this point. Whether Correa will be ready for the American League Division Series will depend on how his back responds to workouts next week, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle writes.
“We’re going to have to see him do a lot of stuff between now and next Friday,” said general manager Jeff Luhnow, who noted it’s “hard to tell” if Correa’s back problems have worsened in the past week. Regardless, if the Astros aren’t confident in Correa’s health when the ALDS rolls around, they’ll “most likely” leave him off their roster, according to Luhnow.
The spot currently ticketed for Correa may end up going to rookie third baseman Abraham Toro, per Rome. And third baseman/AL MVP candidate Alex Bregman would perhaps handle shortstop, something he has had to do far more often than the Astros were hoping for this season. Correa’s regular season ended with just 75 games played on account of multiple injuries. The 25-year-old sat out from May 27 until July 26 with a fractured rib and then missed Aug. 20-Sept. 15 thanks to his back, which still won’t seem to heal.
The fact that the Astros will ultimately go without Correa 87 times during the regular season and possibly still finish with the majors’ best record is a testament to the overall strength of their roster. So, even if Correa’s not available come playoff time, Houston still figures to enter the proceedings with as good a chance as anyone to take home a World Series title. Obviously, though, a healthy Correa would only enhance the Astros’ odds of winning their second championship since 2017.